Middle East Westernization

Words: 1779
Pages: 8

Clearly, Americans think that Westernization and the American way are needed in the Middle East. However, the Middle East has its own culture, beliefs, and morals. In addition, Americans think that Westernization is improving conditions in the Middle East when they are only making things worse. This is evidenced by the TIME cover story, “What happens if we leave Afghanistan,” which infers that an American presence there made things better when actually women were oppressed just as much while the troops were on the ground (p27).
Americans like to believe that they know everything about everyone in the whole world, or at least the Middle East. Americans often make broad, sweeping generalizations about the people and culture of the Middle East,
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Literacy rates for women in the Middle East have risen from 18.1% in 1970 to its current rate of 78% (CIA factbook, a5p193). Women have also played an essential role in the Arab Spring uprisings in Bahrain, Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia (a2p92). One woman named Tawakkol Karman, walked around the city with a ladder, posting blacklists of government officials most opposed to a free press onto government buildings (a2p94). And in Yemen, 100,000 protestors set up camp in the capital in protest of the country’s leader (a2p95). One of the members of the camp said that “Women have a permanent and vital presence [in the camp]” (a2p95). Women in Muslim nations do have the opportunity to do things they want to. Women in Yemen led a protest march, again to protest their leader (a2p96). In response to recent police violence at protests, many husbands ran alongside anxiously watching their loved ones (a2p96). At one point, the men even joined to form a human chain around the women (a2p96). Many Americans would be quick to judge and to say that these husbands were not giving their wives the freedom they needed, but they really just wanted to make sure that their loved ones made it home safe. Despite what many Westerners think many Muslim couples do have a true sense of love for each other, which in some …show more content…
This was mostly due to attacks launched by Israel on the Gaza Strip (a3). Damage from the military attacks totaled $4B, or three times the Gazan GDP (a3). In addition, Israel, who has control over the banking system in Gaza, has made it impossible for many Gazans to access their accounts or complete many financial transactions (a3). They have also stopped all exports out of Gaza and only allow flour, sugar, and butter to enter the country (a3). Everything else including toiletries, other food items, and materials for manufacturing must be bought from Egypt on the black market (a3). The Gazan economy has crashed; ninety-eight percent of factories have closed and unemployment has been as high as seventy percent (a3). And all of this is because Israel wanted Gaza’s oil (a3). In Yemen, which is the poorest country in the Middle East, fifty-seven percent of children are chronically malnourished (a2p92). This is the highest rate in the world except for Afghanistan which is also in the Middle East (a2p92). Years of civil wars, corruption, and poor leadership have left many Arab countries in shambles and oil reserves, which are a primary source of income, are starting to dwindle in some countries (a2p92). What resources remain in the region are taken by the army generals and oil barons, leaving none for the majority of the population